‘Tis the season- the season when the inbox of every Boston family photographer is flooded with inquiries. With the holiday season in the not-too-distant future, many of these inquiries specifically mention wanting mini sessions. Minis are short and sweet and allow families to snag a photo or two for a holiday card. There are many photographers in the Boston area who offer these and do a damn good job. They’re able to provide a wonderful service that satisfies clients’ needs, and at a rate that’s profitable and worthwhile for them. And for the first three or four years of my business, I offered them, too. As time went on, however, they weren’t really working for me anymore and I eventually phased them out. Here’s why I’m sticking to full sessions these days:
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1. Logistical Stressors
If you’ve ever signed up for a mini session, you know that there’s a lot of careful planning on part of the photographer. Typically, several families are scheduled back-to-back, which means there’s very little wiggle room if you are a few minutes late. Suddenly things like traffic or parking difficulties become a MUCH bigger deal. These things are stressful for the photographer as well. Or suppose your kiddo has an absolute meltdown during the session? There’s no time to settle them or give them a break. One thing that always stressed me out when I offered minis was unexpected bad weather on the day of. In that case, I’d have to call every single family and tell them we’d have to re-schedule. There are just too many logistical things to consider with minis, and I personally found them more stressful than they were worth back when I offered them.
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2. We All Need Time to Warm Up
Are your kiddos shy? If they are, a mini session really isn’t a great option for them. 15 or 20 minutes just isn’t enough time to warm up to a stranger, especially if the goal is to capture their smiley, playful side (isn’t that always the goal?!). It takes time to build a bit of a rapport with kids, and often their parents, too! Not all adults are comfortable in front of the camera, but once they get comfortable with me, they relax and the photos reflect that. And you know what else?! I need time to warm up as well! My best photos are never taken right at the beginning of a session. My brain needs time to get warmed up to get the creative juices flowing. It usually takes me a bit before I’m really in the zone and creating what I want to create.
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3. Variety is the Spice of Life
So here’s the thing. Back when I offered minis, people would say they only needed a couple of images, but there were so many times when I’d deliver a gallery and clients would ask if there were more. And I GET IT. I do. You see, it’s kind of like eating brownies. We may THINK we’ll be able to stop after one, but before we know it, we’ve scarfed down the whole pan and we’re still looking for more. Staring at photos of your own children is sort of the same. As parents, we just can’t get enough. I want to be able to offer the variety you think you don’t need, but really will want. With a full session, your gallery will include a variety of backgrounds, combinations of family members, poses, expressions, etc.
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Although 15-20 minute family mini sessions aren’t something I offer anymore, I do offer maternity mini add-ons for booked newborn clients who are just looking for a couple of bump photos. In fact, most of the photos in my maternity gallery are from mini sessions. If you’re expecting and are interested in hearing more about this option, please reach out anytime!